Nose Work

Kathe Baxter, CNWI, CPDT-KA, KPA - Training Director, Nose Work

Growing up with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits, there was no way Kathe Baxter could not love animals! She has pursued her love of animals as a trainer and pet caregiver, training in K9 Nose Work, basic and advanced classes as well as pet therapy preparation and visits. Completion of her Professional Dog Trainer Certification (CPDT-KA), Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), and Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) were all extremely rewarding.

In K9 Nose Work, Kathe's Norwegian Elkhound "Litttle Lady Karita" was the first Elkhound to earn all three levels of Nose Work competition (NW1, NW2, NW3) as well as one of 11 teams to earn the first Elite titles in the Northeast. They qualified and attended the NACSW National Invitational two years in a row (2014-2015) and are on their way to qualifying for the next National Invitational to be held in 2017. Kathe achieved a NW1 and NW2 title with her dog Gunner; however, he was unable to continue his Nose Work career due to his untimely passing.

Kathe's passion for instructing is based on the sheer delight of bringing true joy and happiness to a person and their canine companion. She considers it an honor to be part of developing self-confidence and a genuine trusting relationship.

Kathe is a staff member of NACSW, holding the position of National Trial Coordinator and Certifying Official for NACSW trials. She hosts many sanctioned trials and held several primary positions as volunteer coordinator, score room lead, ORT Coordinator and ORT Judge.

In addition to being an active competitor in Nose Work, Rally, and Agility, Kathe is a member of the Hudson Valley Tracking Club, pursuing tracking and a participating as a trial tracklayer. Most gratifying were weekly Therapy Dog visits and, time permitting, working at the local shelter to help other dogs get a second chance.

Kathe takes continuing education very seriously, attending seminars, workshops, trials, and observing K9 teams as they search: detecting search patterns, environmental factors and the subtle body language of communication. This is invaluable knowledge and skills she passes on to handlers and their dogs.

Kathe can be reached at

George Berger, CNWI

George Berger has had a lifelong passion for and involvement with dogs through obedience, Nose Work, and therapy dog training. He is a member in good standing of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). At PCOTC, he is teaching Nose Work classes.

For several years, George has been doing canine-therapy work, first with his Labrador/Golden Retriever, Dixie. The pair made over 500 visits at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the pediatric units at Roosevelt and Bellevue Hospitals, and the Hallmark Assisted Living facility, all in the New York metropolitan area. Now, George's second dog, Paco, a Chihuahua mix, has become certified and has 200+ visits worth of experience.

Berger coordinates the therapy dog program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, and is the trainer for that program. He and his dogs have been certified/registered by the Delta Society, the Good Dog Foundation, and Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Berger was Publisher of AKC (American Kennel Club) magazines, 1999-2006. He has served as President of the Irvington (NY) Public Library, The O'Hara Foundation, and the Otsego County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He is currently on the advisory Board of National Education Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), was President and is now Second Vice President of the Port Chester Obedience Training Club.

Marsha Dominguez, CNWI

Marsha Dominbuez is a graduate of the National Association of Canine Scent Work's Instructor Certification Program. Marsha has been actively involved with dogs since 1993, when she got her first Portuguese Water Dog, Jasmine, and she was hooked. Jasmine was shown to her championship, competed in Obedience, Agility Water Work, and was an active Therapy Dog; as was Marsha's second dog, Primo, National Specialty Winners Dog. Chairperson of the Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club's Water Committee for many years, she organized the Water Program for that club. She has been teaching and helping individuals and families improve their relationships with their dogs in her own dog training and boarding business, and for Coddled Creatures, a pet sitting business. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a long time member of Hudson Valley's Visiting Pet Program.

Marsha worked as an ABA therapist providing individualized instruction to children on the autism spectrum, as well as conducted workshops for children in the New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Program in Bergen County. She has a Masters Degree from Hofstra University in Education. She has learned from such trainers as Suzanne Clotheir, Sue Sternberg, Pia Silvani, Turid Rugaas. Carolyn Wiki, Ted Turner, Pam Dennison, Susan Garrett, Jean Donaldson. She has taught dogs K9 Nose Work skills at HighPoint K9 in Middletown, NY and will be teaching at Kellar's Canine Academy in Saddle Brook, NJ. She loves doing nose work with Brie, her 6-year-old Portuguese Water Dog who has a NW1 title, winning second overall.

You can reach Martha at

Kathy Gregory, CNWI

Kathy was born into a family that had a long history breeding Boston Bull Terriers. Her first dog, Apache, a Puli, came to her when she was six years old, and Kathy promptly began to teach him obedience by watching it on TV. Kathy met her first Doberman while in college and has shared her life with Dobermans ever since.

Kathy's dogs have achieved many titles in conformation, obedience, agility, and nose work competitions. Her red boy, Dante, was the first of his breed to garner a NW3 title.

Karen Reilly, CPDT-KSA, CNWI

Karen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge and Skills Assessed, a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a Certified Nose Work Instructor and is certified by Sue Sternberg for the CASA shelter dog program for Training Wheels and Train to Adopt.

Karen has been teaching for PCOTC since 2003. Helping handlers to understand their dogs and build that all-important trust is key in Karen's teaching. Karen's philosophy is using hands off training as much as possible, using positive reinforcement and operant conditioning.

Recently becoming intrigued with K9 Nose Work, Karen completed her Certified Nose Work Instructor training in June of 2011. Providing nose work to shelter dogs is another very rewarding experience for Karen. This sport helps the shelter dogs by decreasing stress and keeping their minds active using their innate scenting abilities. For many shelter dogs it helps them present better to potential adopters, since they are less stressed in their kennels.

She has been the volunteer dog trainer for the SPCA of Westchester located in Briarcliff Manor, NY since May 2001. Karen is founder of the SPCA's Lead The Way program (teaching the public to walk, socialize and teach basic behaviors to the shelter dogs increasing their adopt-ability). She also evaluates dogs for the Golden Outreach Program run by the shelter.

Karen's current teachers are her Siberian Huskies Yukon and Suka, and Leo, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon mix. Email her at

Jessica Schulte, CNWI, CPDT-KA

Jessica is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and encourages a compassionate, patient, and dog-friendly approach to training. It is important to Jessica that people—and dogs—feel understood and encouraged in training classes. In order to keep up on the latest innovations in dog training, Jessica reads everything she can get her hands on and attends seminars on dog training and behavior throughout the year.

Active competitors in dog sports, Jessica and her dog, Izzy, have championship titles in Rally and are working toward a CDX in Competition Obedience. They have also trained in agility. Jessica sees competition as a great venue for learning about teamwork, training—and grace.

Jessica became hooked on K9 Nose Work when she attended a workshop by two of the sport's founders. She has been to every trial on the East Coast as a competitor, trial secretary or a volunteer, and was among the first group of instructors to be certified on the East Coast. She is the National ORT Coordinator for the National Association of Canine Scent Work.

Jessica can be reached at